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TIPS FOR KEEPING TRACK
OF STUDENTS' HOMEWORK

Number System Assignment Accountability
Take-Home Folders Missing Homework Due to an Absence
Student Planners  

Number System (Assign a number to each student--the same number as in your gradebook.)

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Have the students write their numbers on anything that they hand in to you. Have a student put the papers in numerical order for you. Not only will the papers be in order when you are ready to record grades, but you will be able to tell quickly who has not handed in a paper. For an incentive to put the numbers on their papers, have students right them in the upper right hand corner of every single paper they turn in, then cut off the corner of every paper that is 100%, or if it is an "extra effort" paper by a lower ability student. Decorate a container, and drop the pieces in there. On Fridays, draw out 3 or 4 names, depending on how many are in the container. Those students get a surprise, like a pop pass, pencil, piece of candy, etc. If they don't put their number in the corner, put a slash with a pen (so they can't write it later!) and then they don't get in the drawing. After each drawing, dump out the container and start over.

Assignment Accountability

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At the beginning of the year I make up "no assignment" sheets.  When I call for an assignment, students without theirs know they have to fill out a no assignment sheet. They put their name, date, class period, and assignment on the sheet.  Next, they have to check the appropriate line for the reason they don't have their assignment. Choices are: I chose not to do it; I did it and forgot it at home; I did it and left it in my locker or homeroom desk; I lost it; I have a homework pass for the assignment; I was absent; other...this they have to explain.  I have a different file box for each class with dividers for students. I file the no assignment sheets in the box. When I have a parent conference, I take a printout of their child's grade and all the no assignment sheets he/she has filled out.  This works amazingly well. It makes the students take responsibility for their work and parents have concrete proof that it is their child's fault for the poor grade.  I also color code the sheets for each quarter. When graduation time comes around, I have proof for each quarter.

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Submitted by Glenda White 8th Grade Literature

       

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Create a form on your computer that has each child's name (and number) followed by one little box and a slightly larger one. Run several copies--scrap paper works well since you don't need the other side. The form isn't very wide, so you can get two to three on one paper if you turn it sideways for "landscape." Use the first box for a check mark indicating an assignment has been turned in. Use the second box for a record of the grade. Then when you get time, record the grades in your gradebook. You can also use the form to record field trip notes, party notes, pictures, etc.

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Create a form on your computer that is divided into five columns--date, assignment, reason for not having assignment, signature, and teacher initials. Then divide the page into rows big enough for students to write in. Make a line at the top of the form for the student's name. Run one copy for each student. The hole punch them, alphabetize them, and put them in a 3-ring binder with alphabetical dividers. If a student does not turn in an assignment, he should record the date, name of the assignment, reason for not having it, and his signature. You can record the items if a student is absent, using your signature. If a student turns in the assignment with a homework coupon or completes it after an absence, go back and initial the entry. When it comes time for parent/teacher conferences, you have a record of missing assignments and the reasons for them. A student can't tell his parents that you must have lost his assignment.

Student Planners

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Require the use of student planners. They can be part of your supply list, or you can provide them for your students. Perhaps your PTO will help purchase them. One school's administration provided them to the students. Most are spiral bound and have spaces every day for recording homework assignments. At the beginning of class the students copy their homework down in the planners.. While you are going around to sign their planners, you can easily make a note in the previous day's box if last night's homework is missing. Parents are also supposed to sign the planners nightly, so they will see right away if their child did not hand in his or her homework (if the parents actually look, of course.)

Take-Home Folders

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Laminate folders for the students to take home their papers once a week, such as Wednesday. Parents know exactly what to look for each Wednesday. They last all year and the students can take them home the last day. If you follow a theme all year, create a template for the students to color and glue the template to the folder. On the first day when you are distributing books, the students are to decorate and personalize their folders. If you watch the sales, you can buy the folders at Wal-Mart for 10 cents each.

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Create Behavior and Assignment Folders that go home every day. Use a manila folder that has a Behavior Sheet (can be found in Cooperative Discipline program or created yourself) stapled on one side and an assignment calendar that can be made on your computer using the spreadsheet program stapled on the other side. Include a place for the parents to initial every day that they have seen the assignments. Each week staple a new Behavior Sheet and assignment calendar on top of the old ones. This really helps the teacher (and the parents who care) keep up with the homework. If the student's assignment calendar isn't initialed, mark the Behavior Sheet for "missing materials." Explain at the beginning of the year that the child is responsible for making sure that the assignment sheet gets initialed (after all, he/she is getting the conduct grade) and the parents sign a form indicating that they understand that initials are required daily. The students get a new folder every grading period and the teacher keeps the old one as a record of conduct grade. (In one school, an entire third grade team uses this system Conduct grades are based on the number of days a student has his Behavior Sheet marked for inappropriate behavior. For example, 0-3 = E; 4-6 = S; 7-9 = N; 10 or more = U).

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Create homework notebooks. At the beginning of the year, purchase 2-pocket folders for each student - not the paper ones but the "high-quality" ones with a cute picture so they will last. On the outside, staple a chart/calendar for the week. On this chart, have the students (or do it yourself if you teach the lower grades) write the week's homework assignments. Inside, one of the pockets is for papers to be completed. The other pocket is for papers that the parents need to view and keep. It is very simple and even 1st graders know exactly what needs to be done. Also, it helps parents out by letting them know what is coming up. For example, if the parents know that Thursday night they wouldn't have a lot of time for homework, the students could double up on Wednesday or work a little extra each night previous. Pick up the homework folders on Friday and if everything is completed with the parent's signature the students receive a sticker. Once a certain number of stickers are received, the students get a prize.

Missing Homework Due to an Absence

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Create a homework board on the chalkboard. Divide it into three columns. In the first column write the name of all your subjects or classes. If you have to abbreviate, use codes such as SP1 for spelling first period, J for journal topic, LA4 for language arts period 4, etc. If you write these topics vertically, they only take up about 1/2 inch. Make the other two columns are about three or four inches wide. The heading for the second column is TODAY and the heading for the third column is YESTERDAY. Write the classwork and the homework in the boxes for each class. At the end of the day erase from TODAY and copy it under YESTERDAY. Make revisions if you changed my mind about the assignments. Then put the new work under TODAY. Kids always know what assignments to expect to get completed. It will also help you remember the next day what homework you assigned to each different group when you go to collect it. Make the chart (including the subjects and TODAY and YESTERDAY) when the board is really wet and press down on your chalk, then let it dry, and write the work with dry chalk on a dry board. This way you will not have to draw the chart very often.

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Create a homework board out of a dry erase board. Also purchase DRY and WET markers. The Wet markers when dried are permanent until you use a wet cloth to erase. Use a WET marker to divide the board into columns and rows. In the first column, write the days of the week. In the first row, write the name of the classes or subjects. Each morning, using a DRY marker, write the day's assignments. The students will always know what was in store for them that day. If there are days that you do not want the assignment known before you begin, write "Surprise Assignment." At the end of the week, ask one of the students to copy the assignment board, in case a student happened to miss all week or the end of the week. Then put the copies into a binder and keep it somewhere for the students.

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Create a homework file with a magnetic file. These files are clear with a big piece of magnetic tape on the back. You can find them at office supply stores, such as Staples. When someone is absent, after you pass out a worksheet write the absentee's name on a blank sheet and put it in this pocket. You can also store papers you have passed back there as well. When the students return, they look in the file for their work. If you gave notes, photocopy from someone who does a good job, put the absentee's name on it, and stick it in the file.

 

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This site last updated 14 November 2007.

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